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Team Penske Claims Three of Top Six Spots in Mid-Ohio

August 8, 2010

Photo courtesy of Steve Swope



LEXINGTON, Ohio (August 8, 2010) - Team Penske produced two podium finishes and placed all of three of its cars among the top-six finishers Sunday at the Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
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Will Power led the team's strong results at the 2.258-mile circuit as he finished second in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Honda. Helio Castroneves finished third in the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda and Ryan Briscoe produced a sixth-place finish in the No. 6 Team Penske machine.

Power continues to lead the IZOD IndyCar Series championship standings and he scored his seventh podium result in 12 races this season. Power started up front after winning his seventh pole of the year on Saturday. He led the first 23 laps before making his first pit stop. Dario Franchitti, who started second, got out in front of Power exiting the pits and he stayed ahead of the Verizon Team Penske pilot for the remainder of the event as he earned his second win of the year. Power, who finished 0.5234-of-a-second behind Franchitti, now leads his rival by 41 points in the series standings.

"Dario was the guy with the speed, and we just couldn't get around him," said Power. "It's hard to pass here and I was just trying to force him to make a mistake. I wasn't going to make it easy on him. Overall, I am happy with the day and it was a good result for the Verizon team."

Power clinched the Mario Andretti Road Course Championship Sunday with one road course race remaining in the 2010 season. The award was created this year to honor the best performer on road and street circuits.

"It's fantastic," said Power. "Mario Andretti was one of the greatest racers of all time. But our real focus is the overall championship. I couldn't get past Dario today, but I gave it everything I had. It was a strong day, but that's the guy we have to beat in the championship."

Castroneves moved from sixth to fifth in the IndyCar Series championship standings with his third-place effort.

"It was a good result for the No. 3 car today," said Castroneves. "We picked up some good points and worked our way back into the top-five in the championship. We had a good strategy that helped us, but unfortunately, we had the (Firestone) black tires and the other leaders had the (alternate) reds at the end. We raced hard with Will but we were smart, keeping the championship in mind. It was a great day for Team Penske, getting two of the top three spots."

Both Briscoe and Castroneves were involved in a collision with Ryan Hunter-Reay during a crowded exit from pit lane early in the race. The incident looked as if it did more harm to Castroneves' car, but it was Briscoe's machine that suffered suspension damage as a result of the contact.

"(The car) was quite a handful," said Briscoe, who remained fourth in the standings with Sunday's result. "After we got going, I noticed that was turning really sharp to the left but wouldn't turn to the right. Something didn't feel right, but we just kept pushing. I feel pretty lucky to come home in sixth place."

The IZOD IndyCar Series has one road course remaining on the 2010 schedule - at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. - before ending the season with four consecutive oval races.
The season resumes at Infineon on Sunday, August 22. Coverage of the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma will begin at 5 p.m. ET on Versus.